Author: Shiva Darkwater | Rating: PG-13 | Summary: Everyone finds their inspiration somewhere. And with it many miracles can occur. Is it your time to break free? | Status: Newer, finished, one-shot | Email: melancholy | Author's notes: Once again a story for class. That seems to be the only time I can get anything done… Needless to say, this is my "legacy" of the year. Interpret that in any way that you wish. And yes, I did write the poem that is at the end as well.
Another line, another scribble. Nothing she wrote seemed to be good enough. Another line, only to be scribbled out once more. Eventually she just crumpled up the page of loose-leaf, which was covered in black scribbles. Tossing the page into the trash bin beside her, she rested her head on her arms, leaning on the desktop. Nothing was good enough for her; nothing would impress her teacher the next day. That was what she was aiming for after all. All she wished for was to see that look of approval on her teacher's face the next day when he read over all of the poems. She wanted to have her poem handed back with an excellent mark and an impressed look. She wanted to finally be able to show off in class for once, to reaffirm her talents.
Kimberly Thomson was an average teenager. Appearance wise there was nothing too important about her: straight shoulder length dark blond hair, dark blue eyes with just a tint of grey in their depths. Her greatest achievement was when she finally set down her unfashionable glasses in their case, their use being forgotten when her parents finally let her wear contacts. Yet now, as she pulled at her hair in frustration, she found herself wearing them once again. For some reason she felt real, like herself again, seeing the world behind gold tinted frames.
English was her favourite subject in school; she was always in awe over the language. A few times, to close friends behind closed doors, she had admitted her secret of often getting lost while looking through a dictionary. She was an English geek as her best friend teasingly called her. Kimberly certainly didn't deny it however. She was in love with the English language and she swore that without writing she would be nothing. It was her one passion, her life; the one thing that could keep her sanity.
That was, except when Mr. Allen had to assign his class the task of writing a poem for the next day. A sonnet was his preferred choice.
Kimberly wasn't too horrible at poems. She had written plenty for fun and had received comments from her friends that told her she was at least decent at writing them. But her rhythm was simply terrible! Honestly, she had no idea how people could pull it off so well. It wasn't just the prospect of suffering through fourteen lines of iambic pentameter that was getting her down. It was the problem of trying to sound eloquent and not like a complete loser in those fourteen murderous lines.
She was a perfectionist and she always wanted to be the best at everything, which just was not going to happen. There were plenty more talented students in her class that Mr. Allen was sure to recognize more than her. She was nothing more than the quiet teen that sat by the chalkboard and kept to her self. It had always been that way; getting her hopes up, planning something big, only to realize that nothing ever turned out how she wanted it to; so what was the point? How much rejection could one poor girl take?
"A lot more if you really want to achieve your goal and become an author," Kimberly remembered her best friend's advice from a late night phone conversation. Amber was right, as always. Her friend was always right. Amber always knew how to tell people exactly what they needed to hear; but it was the last thing they wanted to hear.
"Focus Kim, focus!" she whispered to herself aloud. Getting distracted now wouldn't help her at all. Surely the other kids in her class weren't having nearly as much trouble as she was, but she always did feel out of place in the class. Everyone was so much smarter than she was, at least in her opinion. It didn't matter what her sister Elizabeth thought, in no way was she good enough to get into an advanced placement class…
Casually she leafed through a magazine that was placed on her desk. Searching for anything even remotely inspirational, she paused when she reached the horoscope section. A wry smile crossed her lips. Some people were so gullible to believe this sort of stuff.
Yet still she found herself flipping the page, searching out her zodiac sign among the twelve signs. Ah! Aries, there it was. Quietly, she read aloud what her daily forecast was.
"You are likely to feel fairly aggressive at this time, Aries, and it is possible that the smallest insult will put you over the edge into an emotional rage. People may be looking to pick fights today and you will find that they will go to great lengths to protect their feelings. You will most likely sense a great deal of anger brewing underneath the surface today, so be careful of where you step. Tread lightly."
Well, wasn't that a wonderful thing to know, as if she wasn't frustrated enough. As much as she felt that astrology could be bogus, especially when pertaining to giving the same forecast for every person with that sign, sometimes it still rang some truth. So she was one of those gullible people that she scorned, she had never told herself she wasn't a hypocrite.
With confidence now low, Kimberly set the magazine down with a sigh. This was getting her nowhere. How was she possibly supposed to write a poem, any sort of poem, now? She almost felt like tossing the whole idea, giving up to receive the destined failed mark. Sure, she had dreams of being a writer, but they were just dreams after all. Weren't they? There was no way she could make them come true.
"Not with that kind of attitude, no," she heard Amber's voice in her head again. "But if that's the way you want to be Kim, then be that way. No one can change your mind but yourself."
That's right, no one could change her mind but herself. And right now she didn't want to have to deal with any of this. It was the story of her life, wanting something so bad, and yet never having the courage to take it. Too scared to take the chance; too scared to face the reality. Kim was a romantic, a dreamer. Yet what she truly wanted, she never got.
"I'll probably end up working in an office when I grow up… a secretary or something," she sighed a little, her chin resting between her palms. What good would becoming a novelist bring her anyways? Nothing but more rejections, never being good enough, drowning from the competition… What was the point?
"Because it would be doing something that you love," a little voice in the back of her mind told her; that voice called a conscience. And she knew it was true. In a way, it didn't matter what happened, as long as she could write. As long as she could write, she could make it.
Kimberly sighed, moving from her desk chair to flop onto her bed. "But I'll never be good enough!" Her head rested against pillows, as she was tempted to scream in frustration. Instead she buried her head under the pillows, muffling her aggravated cry.
Melodrama was a key to her existence.
"You're not focusing Kim," her mind told her; and she sighed. Of course she wasn't, she was letting her thoughts get away with her; they weren't making any sense.
"But what do I do?" she whispered to herself, face still pressed against the pillow.
And again, her mind responded, "Don't think so much; just write. Anything at all, just write it."
Kimberly sat up, brushing stray hair from her face and glanced over at her desk. Did she really want to go back there, back to those demons? How was she supposed to suddenly stop thinking? All her free time was spent over-analyzing and thinking; philosophizing. And now she was supposed to just stop thinking, cut off that frame of mind, just so she could write whatever came to mind? It seemed an impossible task.
"Stop thinking; just write, just feel… you can do this!"
Slowly she stepped over the small pile of clothes, which was conglomerating on her floor, making her way back over to her desk. She could do this, if only she had more confidence in herself. It was then that, out of the corner of her eye she noticed one of the poems she had tacked up on her bulletin board.
Among them, one stood out amongst the rest, as if the words were bolded by a holy light. It was her favourite Walt Whitman poem, "O Me! O Life!" which she had fallen in love with a couple of years ago when she was suffering from a bout of dissatisfaction such as she was now. The poem had inspired something within her and so, for future reference, Kimberly had tacked it to her board with her other favourite, inspirational poems.
A true smile graced her lips as she carefully plucked the thumbtacks from the board and released the piece of paper the poem from the board. Quickly her dark blue eyes scanned over the words, absorbing every word and the meanings contained within. Her lips moved and silently she followed along with the words.
"What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here-that life exists and identity, that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse."
Once again she was spellbound by those words, as if they spoke to her very soul. She could contribute a verse. Everyone could. And so, even if it was some tiny little assignment that meant nothing in the grand scheme of things, her voice was still important, as small and meagre it was.
Kimberly sat at her desk, fishing for a fresh piece of paper, poem still clutched within her grasp. She wouldn't think; she wouldn't doubt. All she would do is feel. She would jot down whatever first came to her mind and she would shout it. And wouldn't Amber be proud?
Pen poised in her fingers, she let the words escape her mind and be released onto the paper. Mr. Allen never did say that we could only write a sonnet, just that that was his preferred choice. But maybe she could still blow him away with a different style of poem, a poem that came from her heart, from her soul. Something that spoke of the questions she had and the answers to those questions. If she spoke from the heart, perhaps she could make others see what she saw. It was worth a shot after all, and she needed to learn to stop hiding from herself.
Her hand didn't stop until she was finished and with a look of pure triumph in her eyes she gazed upon her work.
Satisfied, she quickly scrawled her name at the top of the page and wrote the title "Voice" above the poem. There, complete, and she was perfectly satisfied. It may not be as beautiful and as perfect as some of the other students in her class, but she wasn't like them was she? No, she was different. And maybe she didn't belong in that class; maybe she didn't fit in with the other students. But that wasn't for them to decide.
Rising from her desk chair she arched her back and raised her hands over her head, stretching. Calmly she tacked Walt Whitman's poem back up in its place on her bulletin board. She would have to call Amber and tell her the good news. That she wasn't going to get herself down anymore about such trivial matters. That she had to be true to herself before others could begin to respect her… But right now, Kimberly felt like she deserved to treat herself to some orange sherbet that she knew was hiding in the freezer somewhere.
She left her room, shutting the door behind her to face the bright lights of the hallway. Further off she could hear her father watching the hockey game on TV and her mother was in the same room reading a novel. Life passed by and nobody knew a thing.
No one would be able to notice the change in her, so why make a big deal about it? Face every challenge head on, direct and without fail. How else could you find victory?
Her poem lay on her desk, waiting for the chance to shine. Perhaps it would change someone's outlook on life, who knew? But it had touched Kimberly's and it was the one proof that all obstacles could be challenged, met and defeated.
"When one loses the will to speak out
They lose their opinion,
They lose their soul.
Becoming nothing more than silent ghosts
Unable to do anything but watch…
When one loses their voice
What can one do to regain it?
When one wants nothing more than to yell
Why can they no longer shout?
Why can they not break free from the chains they shrouded in?
The answer lies not only in what one says
But also in yourself.
Find the path and don't fall…
No one may be there at the end of your struggle
Stop yourself from drowning in sorrow."